Portsmouth Meeting - 14 March 2009Portsmouth Meeting - 14 March 2009
Saturday, March 14th 2009 dawned with a brilliantly blue sky and a bitingly cold wind. At approx 1030 hrs small groups of Neptune Association members and their guests began to arrive at Portsmouth War Memorial for a service of remembrance for those who lost their lives when HMS Neptune sank and HMS Kandahar attempted to rescue the men on board, in the early hours of December 19th 1941.
At 1100 hrs, we all moved to the relative shelter of the lower level of the War Memorial, where those men of the home port (Portsmouth) who served in WW2 are commemorated, for the service of remembrance.
The Reverend Paul Miles-Knight led the service and welcomed everyone. After the opening prayer and the reading (Psalm 107: v 23 -30) wreaths were laid and the Last Post was sounded. The Silence followed and then Reveille was played. The service concluded with the Lord's Prayer and the Naval Prayer. We then made our way to the D Day Museum for coffee.
Nigel Haines, media supervisor of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission talked about the work of the CWGC and showed a DVD of some of the cemeteries cared for by them.. He talked of the history of the commission, and how it came about as a result of the work done by Sir Fabian Ware, Commander of a mobile unit of the Red Cross, who led the work of recovering and re-burying those who had fallen in WW! (See CWGC web page for greater detail).
The afternoon session began with Adrian Fewins updating everyone on the progress of his book 'Minefield 2' which will be launched at the AGM of the Association to be held at the Union Jack Club on November 21st 2009.
John McGregor talked about the finding of HMS Sydney in Feb 2008 and showed a DVD of the work done by David Mearns and his team who located the ship. John also thanked Christine Pittman-Corner for finding such a prestigious venue for this meeting and for her brilliant and painstaking organisation of the day
After the close of the meeting every one had the chance to wander around the museum and to view the spectacular D-Day embroidery, which is longer than the Bayeux tapestry in Normandy.
Following the meeting, there was good coverage in the Portsmouth News and as a result another relative of a Neptune casualty made contact - Mrs Robina Patrick, daughter of Bandmaster Donald Joyce, Royal Marines.
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